20 Mar Protecting Your Hearing: Present And Future
Our hearing is one of the most valuable things. It’s what connects you with the world and is one of your five precious senses and essential for the normal functioning of a human being. Just recently, the World Health Organization released estimates that about 900 million people could suffer from disabling hearing loss by 2050. That is a staggering amount that should draw attention to this growing problem, especially since that number is up from 360 million people five years ago.
“Every day, we experience sound in our environment, such as the sounds from television and radio, household appliances, and traffic. Normally, these sounds are at safe levels that don’t damage our hearing. But sounds can be harmful when they are too loud, even for a brief time, or when they are both loud and long-lasting. These sounds can damage sensitive structures in the inner ear…” From NIDCD
When you’re someone that attends festivals/events regularly, it’s important to make a conscious effort and take the right steps to minimize the risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
With ongoing exposure, NIHL can also eventually lead to Tinnitus. This occurs due to the fact that ongoing exposure can damage the sensory hair cells inside our inner ears – it usually begins in the ear and continues in the brain.
What is Tinnitus?
“Tinnitus is noises in the head, not related to any psychiatric condition. The noise can be heard anywhere in the head or in one or both ears. So far there are no scientific proven cure for tinnitus.” These are often sounds that consist of clicking, buzzing, whistling or ringing in the ears. Some artists who have opened up about their struggle are: Nova Spire, Jody Barr, London Elektricity and Optical.
Here are some helpful ways to prevent hearing loss:
1. Avoid loud noises
Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB) – the higher the number means that the noise will be louder.
2. Taking extra precautions when listening to music at home
- Using noise cancelling headphones
- Keep volume at a comfortable level
- Take a break for a minimum of 5 minutes during every hour
3. Protect your hearing during loud events and activities
- Give your hearing about 18 hours of recovery time after a lot of exposure to loud noise
- Don’t stand close to loud sources of noise ie. speakers in a venue
- Take a break once and awhile
- Consider wearing/investing in a pair of ear plugs/muffs
4. Have your hearing tested
Make an appointment to get a hearing test if you have experienced any of the following:
- Have family with hearing loss
- Trouble hearing conversations
- Around loud noises on a regular basis
- Ringing in your ears frequently
Earpeace – Comes in three distinct styles including: Music, Motorsports and Workplace Safety while also offering a Custom Fit option. Precision engineered to allow in a precise amount of unobstructed sound – all frequencies at just the right sound level. Clear sound, lasting comfort, discrete and 100% reusable.
Alternative Option: Downbeats
DUBS – Uses Dynamic Attenuation, which is an intricate mechanical process that filters sound. While traditional earplugs distort and muffle, their engineers have developed a product with a combination of high and low pass filters that allows the DUBS to reduce volume while preserving the balance and clarity of the audio.
Etymotics – Etymotic Research, Inc. is an engineering-driven research, development and manufacturing company. The name “Etymotic” means “true to the ear.” Mead Killion, Ph.D. founded Etymotic Research in 1983 to design products that accurately assess hearing, improve the lives of those with hearing loss, protect hearing, and enhance the listening experience of musicians and music lovers everywhere.
Earasers – Whether you’re a musician, go to concerts or are regularly exposed to music played at high levels, Earasers don’t plug up your ears and muffle sound like more conventional earplugs. Manufactured by a 50 year old hearing aid company, and developed by their lead engineer – a musician for over 20 years – they filter out loud noise while allowing you to hear at a safe and comfortable level.
Foam Ear Plugs – Better than nothing.